Joseph McCarthy Essay

Decent Essays
Joseph McCarthy Throughout the early 1950's, the nation was deeply engrossed in fears of a Communist takeover. At a time when America's fears were at their very height, Joseph McCarthy, a Republican Senator from Wisconsin pushed America's fears to an extreme. As a ploy to get himself re-elected, and to make America hate Communism as much as he did, the Senator devised a devious scheme. McCarthy, while giving a speech, held up a piece of paper and exclaimed, "I have here a list of 57 known Communists who are currently employed by the U.S. State Department" (Fried, 89). A few days later, McCarthy raised the number of people on the list from 57 to 205. The reaction to McCarthy's announcement was absolute panic. Until that time, the…show more content…
Everyone knew about it, but no one ever talked about it. The first knowledge many American's had of Communism came from Winston Churchill's "Iron Curtain Speech" (Matusow, 45). Churchill basically said in his speech that the Soviet Union was pushing forward a global Communist takeover. And Churchill also said that he believed, "We should not let such a force loose on the planet" (Matusow, 46). That was the first time many American eyes were opened to Communism, and McCarthy made sure it was not the last. The entire chaos that Senator McCarthy caused had become collectively known as "The Red Scare" (Feuerlicht, 34). McCarthy used this entire "Red Scare" idea to boost his hopes for re-election. But an elected official is supposed to be a representative of the people. All McCarthy did was abuse his power and pull the wool over the people's eyes. McCarthy did not work for the benefit of the people. He only worked for the benefit of himself. Next, the people whose lives McCarthy destroyed must be looked at. In the immediate aftermath of McCarthy's speech came many accusations. America wanted the people that McCarthy said were on his list. But when asked for the list, McCarthy said he lost it, and he could not remember which individuals were on the list. But he said he did see some key Hollywood figures on it. That was when the focus shifted to all of Hollywood. If anyone thought that an actor or actress seemed suspicious, they would simply start gossip about
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